September 2017 Temkin/Harris Poll

One of the fun things about working on political campaigns is that you get to see internal polling about how your local electorate is feeling. These polls ask important questions like, "is our city on the right track?" and if not, "who is most to blame?" But campaigns rarely share these polls with the outside world, so great cities like Chicago don't have access to that kind of information.

Today I'm releasing the first Temkin/Harris poll, a new public opinion survey of registered voters in Chicago. My partner in this project is Melissa Harris, the founder of M. Harris LLC (one of the best marketing and communications agencies in Chicago), and a former Chicago Tribune business columnist. Melissa and I became interested in doing this poll together as a special service to our clients, but we are also excited to take this extra step and release the findings publicly.

Here are some of the interesting findings:

Based on these results, I would anticipate a high-turnout change election in Chicago. I wouldn't want to be an incumbent running for any office in the city right now - voters are dissatisfied and they have no idea who or what to blame. Perhaps the opportunity for our political leaders is to address some of the boring, unsexy, systemic issues that gum up the works in Chicago politics. A great example of such an issue would be publicly-financed campaigns like New York has successfully implemented. Chicagoans voted overwhelmingly in support of such a system in 2015 - 79% of voters said they wanted to use public funds to reduce the influence of money in politics. But no policy change has occurred as a result.

You can find more analysis on Melissa's site, or download the top-level results [PDF]. The poll results are released under a Creative Commons SA-BY-NC license. That means you can use the content how you want, but you have to give us credit, distribute it under the same license, and you can't sell it.